Palm kernel cut start of evolution

Glenys Christian Landcorp’s (Pamu) move to stop feeding cows palm kernel is now worth $160,000 a year in premiums to its Canterbury dairy farms supplying Synlait, its head of environment, Alison Dewes told the Environmental Defence Society (EDS) Conference in Auckland in early August. It would have some planning in place by December to move to farming under ecosystem health …

Brent Page's family has been farming the same land since 1852.

New uses for muck

Squeezing the fluids from dairy effluent and mixing the resulting solids with sawdust offers a comfortable surface for cows to stand on for a farm in a high-rainfall area. Anne Hardie reports. The squeezed solids from Brent and Kathy Page’s dairy effluent on their Golden Bay farm is going to form the base for the wintering barn next year, mixed …

Mike and Russell Phillips: how much Ecotain in the sward would improve farm bottom line and make meeting N leaching targets possible? Picture: Brad Hanson

Collective action

Russell Phillips is embarking on a journey to raise the content of plantain on his Te Rehunga farm and supporting a research project to start a catchment-wide action to plant farms in 30% of the N-reducing forage. Jackie Harrigan reports. Russell Phillips has been dairy farming at Te Rehunga, south of Dannevirke since he was 21, on a farm that …

Finding the sweet spot

Benchmarking a dairy business relative to its peers is an excellent way to guide a farm to its highest level of profitability, dairy consultant Chris Lewis writes. As a dairy farm consultant my definition of the sweet spot is the farm system where an individual farm can consistently deliver its highest level of profitability. A key word is “consistently”. The …

Robert and Hayley find buying in feed is more cost-effective and has bumped up their milk production.

Utilising every blade

The Central Plateau Dairy Business of the Year is a Reporoa operation running at 3.3 cows/ha. Dairy farmers Robert and Hayley Hathaway have bumped up milk production with a higher stocking rate by using efficient supplements and precision pasture management. Sheryl Brown reports. When Robert and Hayley bought their 160ha dairy farm on the Reporoa flats they were milking 460 …

While more dairy farmers are expected to elect an all AI programme, there’s still strong inquiry for service bulls.

Demanding assurance

Farmers have made a mind-set change to cope with the threat of Mycoplasma bovis when buying stock. Anne Lee reports. Farmers are asking many more questions and demanding assurances over biosecurity history when considering bull purchases or leasing arrangements this season. Calf buyers, too, are wanting more detail when making buying decisions. PGG Wrightson national dairy livestock manager Paul Edwards …

Dairying in the remote Maruia Valley.

Hitting the sweet spot

Focusing on stockmanship and breeding worth has seen a West Coast couple’s herd reach top-ranking production figures. Anne Hardie reports. Six weeks calving is long enough by Kane and Rachel Inch’s reckoning and they’ve also dropped cow numbers, milk once a day and feed just grass through a season that amounts to just 270 days in milk. The result? They …